Band Profile: Bob Finlay
Grand Bend Legion
May 19 3-6pm
Hometown: St. Thomas
Personal Style: Everything from early war tunes to East Coast Canada to Elvis, 50s, 60s, 70s. Canadian folk music. Audience participation.
Influences: My dad; high school teacher Frank Hurlehay; vocal coach and Caledonians accompanist Dr. Wayne Carroll
What people can expect: A fun, lively, entertaining high caliber afternoon.
Interview and photo by Casey Lessard
Who inspires you?
My dad. My dad’s passed now, but he got me into music. Andy Stewart, a huge Scottish entertainer. When I came to Canada, Gordon Lightfoot and the Guess Who. Then Neil Diamond and Elvis, the Eagles.
What makes you want to sing?
It’s my very being. I’ve been an entertainer since I was 15 years of age. It’s going on 38 years I’ve been playing Legions and around the world. There’s a deep internal drive. It’s a God-given talent that needs to be shared.
Where do you like to perform?
I perform many different ways. The Caledonians play stage shows; that’s the top professional level of what I do. I’ve played in Scotland, Vegas, Disneyworld, New York, East coast, West coast. But I also play Highland Games and I enjoy that. I also love Legions and war tunes because it gives people memories of times past. When people come in, they come from all walks of life, but they go out saying they had a good afternoon with Bob.
When do you find time for yourself?
I’m a therapeutic music recreationist at Regional Mental Health Care at St. Joseph’s in London. With that, I’ve done a lot of re-teaching musical instruments to clients who in turn go out and perform at seniors’ homes.
Why did you become a musician?
It’s my destiny. When I was a boy, our family would have get-togethers and music was always there. Everyone would pick up an instrument and then I took lessons. Eventually it’s all you do. Music is the very essence of who I am. It shows the minute I step on stage or when I talk to someone.